Ballyholme Yacht Club is the host for this summer’s prestigiousF18 catamaran World Championships which will be sailed on Belfast Lough, one of the best sailing areas in Europe. The event, one of the largest in Ireland this year, will run from 4th till 11th July.
The Worlds will attract 120 multihulls and crew and this contingent, together with their managers, trainers, friends and family will bring over 500 visitors to North Down. Local competitors include Adrian Allen and Richard Swanston.
Mayor of North Down, Councillor Andrew Muir launched the event today. He was enthusiastic about the prospect of such a huge regatta coming to Bangor, a town known for its close association with all things nautical.
“As someone who’s enjoyed the opportunity to learn to sail as Mayor with Royal Ulster Yacht Club via Yacht Enigma and with Ballyholme Yacht Club via a Laser Bahia I have grown to develop a strong love for sailing and can’t wait to see the F18 event later this year showcasing North Down as Northern Ireland’s premier Maritime Borough”
Olivier Bovyn, International F18 Class President commented “It is my great pleasure to attend the 2014 F18 Worlds launch, this being my first stay in Northern Ireland, I am more than happy to visit. I am confident Ballyholme will provide our Class with a top quality event, merging proper and fair sailing with friendly sailor parties, and I am certain success will reward all your efforts and involvement in building up such an important organisation. Further to this, I would like to sincerely thank all funding partners, from proud sponsors to local governing bodies, whose support makes this 15th F18 World Championship possible. Wishing you all the best”.
The F18 is a fast catamaran with a spinnaker and double trapeze crewed by two people and is a fully International Sailing Federation (ISAF) recognised class with large fleets all over the world.
Ballyholme Yacht Club is highly experienced in running events of this magnitude and will have club member Bill O’Hara as Principal Race Officer. Bill is an Independent Sports Professional and an Olympian and currently Principal Race Officer for the Volvo Ocean Race. The Jury Chairman will be Ewan McEwan (GBR) who is Chief Umpire of the Extreme 40 series.
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Images with thanks to Stanley Matchett Photography